There's a lot of confusion out there on VMware's support for the CPU vendors' virtualization assist technology. VMware has always led the industry with its support for hardware assist. We were the first vendor to support AMD-v and Intel VT-x in 2006, the first to support AMD RVI in 2008, and will be the first to support Intel EPT when vSphere 4 becomes publicly available. These technologieswhich we call hardware assistprovide value to the part of ESX we call the monitor.
As we prepare for vSphere's general availability we're generating a lot of documentation to help people get the most out of the new version of ESX. One of my colleagues started a document that details the role of the monitor and how it flexibly uses different hardware assist technologies. I've summarized the default behavior of our monitor in several situations in ESX Monitor Modes. Of course vSphere's users will be able to override these defaults if they want to experiment with their workloads.
I wanted to include a textual summary of the role of the monitor in virtualization but found myself getting bogged down with the writing. So, I thought I'd try something new. Let me know what you think of this short video clip explaining the role of the monitor and how it might leverage hardware assist.